Project to bring tired homes back to their best gets £190,000 boost

Greg Hayman, Liberal Democrat councillor for Trunch, pictured during the 2019 North Norfolk District

Councillor Greg Hayman, portfolio holder for housing and benefits at North Norfolk District Council.  - Credit: Archant

A group set up to provide affordable housing for key workers and locals in Wells-next-the-Sea will be able to buy four new homes instead of two thanks to a council loan of almost £200,000.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) is lending Homes for Wells £192,675 for the project to purchase and refurbish the one and two-bedroom homes in Northfield Waye.

David Fennell, Homes for Wells chairman, said he was "very grateful" for the loan.

David Fennell, chairman of Homes for Wells, which have launched a Crowdfunder to help buy two social

David Fennell, chairman of Homes for Wells. - Credit: Archant

He said: "They will be ideal for key workers, who will occupy them throughout the year, keeping Wells functioning in the high season and alive in the low season.

"A recent survey indicates that holiday lets and second homes now exceed 40pc of the dwellings in Wells, more than doubling in the past 10 years. 

"The need for affordable homes is greater than ever. Homes for Wells is very fortunate to have excellent, sustaining support from NNDC."

“We look forward to our new tenants moving in during April.”

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The rest of the project will be funded by Homes for Wells' reserves, donations, and a grant from NNDC's community housing fund (CHF).

Donations have included a £30,000 sum from the Holkham Charitable Foundation to help refurbish the properties, which was announced in early January

A view of the dwellings in Northfield Waye, Wells, as they are now, awaiting refurbishment. 

A view of one of the dwellings in Northfield Waye, Wells, before its refurbishment.  - Credit: Homes for Wells

Councillor Greg Hayman, NNDC’s portfolio holder for housing and benefits said: “We are committed to ensuring that homes are available locally for affordable rents. Homes for Wells have a bold plan to provide local homes for rent, which had been former public sector housing.

"They will keep them on those terms, allowing them to be rented to people with local need but who might otherwise find it difficult to meet the high cost of rental in areas like Wells. 

"We think that this project is a perfect fit for our aspiration to provide homes that people can afford.” 

A view of the dwellings in Northfield Waye, Wells, as they are now, awaiting refurbishment. 

A view of one of the dwellings in Northfield Waye, Wells, before its refurbishment.  - Credit: Homes for Wells

Since Homes for Wells was launched in 2006 it has housed 54 people, and there is a waiting list of 42 families who still need the trust's help. 

A survey has revealed the price of a house in Wells is more than 14 times the average household income, and the proportion of second homes in the town has reached record levels of 37pc.

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